Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Working and going to school full time

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    Posts
    36

    Working and going to school full time

    So this fall semester I will be enrolled in 9 hours at UTA. Two of the classes are offered online with only one class at night on-campus. I would like to work full-time to help defray some costs, but don't want to be overloaded with massive reading and papers.

    Can anyone provide insight into the rigors of working full-time and going to school or if I should drop down to 6 hours.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Gig City
    Posts
    2,655
    I worked full time 37.5 hours a week for a government planning department and went to grad school part time. I never did more than 6 hours a semester and 6 over the summer. It worked for me, I took 1 extra year to get out but the 3 years of experience have already paid their dividends.
    @GigCityPlanner

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    2

    Definitely possible, but plan ahead

    It's definitely possible to work full-time and go to school full-time, but you have to be realistic about the demands on your time. I work 40 hours/week and took 10 hours in the spring. (Probably won't do that again.) It's imperative that you know the scope of your job - will you have to travel? Will you have to work overtime? Will your boss be flexible if you need to leave early once a week for class?

    Then, try to get information about the classes you'd like to take. I usually email the professors to get a copy of the syllabus in advance -- that way you can start tracking down books, plus understand what's required. Three classes with reasonable reading loads but huge final papers become a problem at the end of the semester (and might require taking a day or two off of work to finish), whereas heavier reading loads but smaller assignments sprinkled throughout the semester require a different kind of stamina.

    If you have a spouse, a pet, a hobby or something else that takes up a lot of your time, be reasonable about the sacrifices you'll have to make to fit everything in. (Or be prepared to sacrifice sleep!) The biggest key for me was just planning ahead and not putting everything off until the week it was due. It's definitely possible, but be realistic about what you can handle. The last thing you want is to become overwhelmed because then your grades and your job will suffer.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    May 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    2

    you get out what you put in....

    I have been working 40 hours a week as a planner and taking 6 to 9 credit hours per semester for the past three years towards the completion of my Dual Urban Planning and Urban Design Masters.

    It can be done. It is a lot of work. However, I urge you to recognize that in any Masters program, you get what you put into it and nothing more. I REALLY REALLY wish I could have just gone to school full-time and worked part-time. Doing so would have allowed me to spend more time on certain subjects. There are plenty of topics, perhaps not covered on a mid-term or final, I wish I could have spent more time on but work prevented that extra effort on my part.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    9,020
    Blog entries
    2
    Just do it Brother!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rockwood, MI
    Posts
    1,411

    Fat Cat

    A lot of us have done it, You do have to prioritize your time and this will assist you later in life,
    I earned my undergrad going to school full time and working full time with small children. I also refered to it as majoring in VA
    Later I went to graduate school when my children were teenagers,
    No it was not easy,
    I carried my school books and notes with me and when ever I got a chance I studied,
    Including if I was sitting in a waiting room waiting to meet some one, My brief case with school books and notes was always with me, So that if an opportunity of "free time" presented itself, I used it to study,
    Also there were a lot of late nights studying,
    Mrs Katt did the same when she earned her graduate degree,
    But we are not all the same, so it is still your decision and I wish you the best.

  7. #7
    Same here. I work full-time and am getting my Masters part-time. The university is a good 50+ miles from work too. It's really just about time management. If I have a big paper or project looming, I'll designate an evening or two and go to a coffee shop or the library to work on it. So go for it! Remember, you will never regret having a Master's degree!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    Posts
    36
    Thanks so much for the quick replies. I think I will work part-time and immerse myself into graduate school for the first year. Hopefully an opportunity will arise where I can switch over to full-time work in the planning profession and go to school part time.


    thanks all

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    11
    I worked basically full time and went to school full time my first semester, and 2nd semester I dropped down to working part time and focused more on school. I got a LOT more out of school 2nd semester, so I definitely think you are making the right decision!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,827
    I would echo what others are saying. It is not easy, but it is do-able. And a lot of it has to do with managing time well, focusing on the school tasks and powering through it all.

    Yes, it would be nice to have gone to school and just focus on that without having to worry about other costs. But, with a family, I really had no choice. I did manage to go to part-time for two semesters - it was a tight year and much of it was paid for with student loans, but we decided sucking it up and finishing quickly was at that point more prudent than dragging it out and working full-time. Plus, I really needed to be spending some time with my kids!

    One semester I registered for 14 credits plus full-time work. I ended up having to drop a class, though. Mainly I was trying to take advantage of some offerings that were not likely to come up again before I was done. Had to cut GIS which was too bad...

    I would go ahead and try it with the 9 hours. I think this is manageable, but the outside of class workload is the big variable there. But, this is why you can drop classes. If you get a few weeks into it and you're going crazy, just drop!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2008
    Location
    American South
    Posts
    32
    I went to school full time, had a 20-hour per week assistantship, and worked 30+ hours per week waiting tables. And I had a wife and young child. And we only had one car.

    I would not recommend that anyone do that.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 6
    Last post: 29 Aug 2008, 10:23 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last post: 22 Jul 2008, 6:20 PM
  3. Full time or part time?
    Student Commons
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 27 Jul 2007, 3:59 PM
  4. Part Time / Full Time Mayors
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 15
    Last post: 06 Apr 2005, 3:24 PM
  5. Working Time to Buy a Big Mac
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 17 Sep 2003, 11:59 AM